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Philip Treacy Hatforms at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

An exhibition of hat moulds and drawings by Philip Treacy, described by The Times as “the world’s most famous milliner”, opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Thursday 5 April. Unlikely Sculpture: Hatforms by Philip Treacy reveals the process by which Treacy’s extravagant and beautiful hats are imagined and made. It comprises a collection of preparatory solid wooden blocks or moulds, which are individually carved and are used as a base on which the fabric and other materials are formed. A series of drawings is also included. These are being displayed alongside a spectacular video of his recent successful couture show in Paris. The exhibition is sponsored by Panasonic Ireland Ltd.

Philip Treacy is known throughout the world as the most famous hat designer of the age. In a recent poll, he was amongst the ten most recognised fashion designers in the world. His work is clearly part of the fashion world, but his ‘unlikely’ sculptures also cross the boundary into visual art. This project is the first time that the sculptural qualities of these forms will have been explored in Ireland. This project has been organised in association with fig-1 in London, where it was presented in February 2000 during London Fashion Week.

Born in Galway in 1967, Treacy first studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and while a student he started to work with established designers such as Rifat Ozbek, John Galliano and Victor Edelstein. He graduated in 1990 with a First Class Honours Degree with distinction. At the same time he was discovered by the contributing editor of Vogue Isabella Blow, who commissioned the first of many hats for her wedding. Their friendship flourished and Isabella became his champion through the fashion world.

Treacy opened his studio in Belgravia, London, in 1991 and in 1993 presented the first of his annual catwalk shows at London Fashion Week. In 1997 and 1999, his collections were also shown in New York. The millinery collection was extended in 1997 to a range of handbags, scarves, gloves and hairpieces. Treacy has won the British Accessory Designer of the Year Award five times. His designs are exhibited at the Design Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and museums worldwide. An exhibition of his work was shown at the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, for the Biennale di Firenze in 1997.

Treacy works in collaboration with many leading couturiers Karl Lagerfield, Mark Bohan, Helmut Lang, Valentino, Versace, Thierry Mugler, Anna Molinari, Antony Price, Viktor and Rolf and Alexander McQueen. He has designed for the Royal Ballet, films and theatre productions.

Unlikely Sculpture continues at IMMA until 10 June.

Admission is free.

Opening hours: Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sun, Bank Holidays 12 noon – 5.30pm

Closed: Mondays
Friday 13 April

For further information and colour and black and white images please contact Philomena Byrne or Monica Cullinane at Tel : +353 1 612 9900,
Fax : +353 1 612 9999

9 March 2001

Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June. A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. There are three exhibitions to visit  Hilary Heron: A Retrospective; Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s shop, café and gardens are all open.